Feel it in your Gut


The stomach has always been a point of reference to a variety of emotions. There are vernacular phrases that indicate this. For instance, when you experience a great sense of relief, an analogy used is to liken it to milk being poured into one’s stomach, or when you are fearful and on tenterhooks, to compare it to carrying coals around one’s stomach. A churning or a sinking feeling or panic experienced in the stomach are often intuitive and a sign of things to follow. What is this gut feel that we talk about and what explains it?
Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung defined intuition as perception via the unconscious. The unconscious mind senses something and communicates it to the conscious mind. This communication could well be through feelings or emotions that people term as a hunch or premonition.
Since intuition happens in a flash without any logic, reasoning, or as a feeling, it is often dismissed as a figment of imagination as one cannot explain it or figure where it originated from but Jung attributes it to a set of assumptions made by the self. Other spiritual gurus describe it as the outcome of a link to the Supreme or our spiritual guides. Gutfeelisa kind of sixth sense that likely emanates from the Ajna, third eye chakra, where four of five regular senses are located.
Explains Nayaswami Savitri,
“Each chakra has its own flavour; the heart chakra offers intuition of a more emotional type, like a strong feeling about something rather than a clear intellectual thought about it.
Or it could be a plain gut feel from a lower chakra.” If you are wondering how your gut is involved in receiving intuition, it is because of intelligent energy and life force of different kinds in our chakras, she adds.
Our gut forms part of the enteric nervous system and is referred to as the second brain. It actually arises from the same tissues as our central nervous system during foetal development, and is rich in neurons, hormones, neurotransmitters and communicates with the brain through a pathway of nerves. The gut is also rich in bacteria called probiotics, which, apart from playing a role in digestion, immunity etc, also influence mood, cognition and emotions. Hence, the gut feel connect. Gut instinct by which you can sense approaching events is attributed to dopamine neurons. And remember, in primitive stages it was intuition that protected us from dangers.
To hone your gut feel, follow the 3 Ms — movement, meditation and mindfulness. Any kind of movement, in particular using energies around the middle, as in yoga or martial arts, can facilitate their free flow and aid intuition. Meditation, stillness and silence help us tap into and hone gut feel. Last, but not the least, be mindful of your instincts and what they tell you. We are all born with intuition. It is just that we do not listen carefully enough.
Combine your linear mind and intuition if you like and maintain a gut feel journal of sorts. The bottom line: Don’t discount gut feel, but carefully correlate it with other signs and the turn of events. It could well be your first responder even before your brain swings in to react.